Cab drivers: San Diego ‘racist’ to expect them to shower, smell fresh

Cab drivers: San Diego ‘racist’ to expect them to shower, smell fresh

Cabbies who smell badly [sic] are probably just oppressed folks who came directly from their terrorist training camp to the airport and didn’t have time to change.

Body odour is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers. Cabbies say that smacks of prejudice and discrimination.

It does discriminate between cabbies who smell like an open sewer and those who don’t. It further prejudges what a good smell is.

Leaders of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego union say the litmus perpetuates a stereotype that predominantly foreign-born taxi drivers smell bad. A 2013 survey of 331 drivers by San Diego State University and Center on Policy Initiatives found 94 per cent were immigrants and 65 per cent were from East Africa.

And 45 percent were tampering with the meter. …

The airport authority says it is enforcing a policy of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, which regulates taxis throughout the region, that prohibits foul-smelling drivers and promotes regular bathing. It also says the practice is about satisfying customers.

Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the 18,000-member New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said her face reddened with anger and dismay when she learned about the San Diego practice. She suggested the airport leave it to customers to complain about body odour.

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